A couple of nights ago I was on Twitter enjoying a Guinness and the witty banter that flies around in #pubwrite. (It’s a hashtag used by a really great group of writers to chat with each other about writing, life and drinking games. If you want to know more check out R. A. Evans’ fantastic blog post about us.)
That night there were a couple of fellow pubwriters that had pictures of various things as their avatar, not one of themselves. One pubwriter in particular had his avatar set as the Twitter egg, a default avatar used when you don’t upload a picture. Unfortunately, its also used by many spam bots.
Every time he would post I thought it was spam trying to get me to click on their links. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought he was a spam bot in disguise, because two nights ago someone challenged him to get rid of the egg and put up a pic of himself.
That “BIG reveal” started it all; no one was safe from it. If you stopped by pubwrite that night and didn’t have a picture of yourself up, you were signaled out. I have to admit, I was adding a bit of peer pressure, but it was all in good fun.
The best part of this story is that they all revealed pictures of themselves. Lets face it, not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera, so posting a picture can be somewhat of a big deal. However, everyone who had an avatar of something other than themselves took the challenge and posted a real picture.
It got me thinking. Although I have a picture of myself up on Twitter and, well, everywhere, I am hiding behind something. My name.
In one of Savana’s earlier posts “Writer’s Identity Crisis” she mentioned that Savana Quinn (or at that time Ana Quinn) was a pen name of hers. She also mentioned that my name, Kaye Peters, is a pen name. If you missed that post….SURPRISE!
I have my reasons for using a pen name. None of them being to protect my family or that my real name is too hard to pronounce or that I write about secret sex clubs that have orgies on every third Sunday of every month while giant flowers sway around them. Or at least I don’t think I write about that.
It really started as a joke between Sparky and me. When I told him that I wanted to start writing it was about 3 am. Sleep deprived and delirious we joked about all the names I could write under, but one stuck.
Peters was my paternal grandmother’s maiden name. She was born in the East End, London and her story always fascinated me. She lived in the subways during the war and she followed “her Yank” across the pond to settle down. She died when I was 6; I hardly remember her. I never thought not knowing someone could hurt so much.
My dad doesn’t like to talk about her, he has his reasons, I’m sure, but it doesn’t make it any easier for me. So, I wanted to pay homage to a woman I really don’t know but she means the world to me just the same.
My first name, Kaye? Yeah, its the first letter of my real name. I know, so creative, right? Well, I am a writer.
So, am I going to reveal my real name? I don’t know. I guess it depends how many pubwriters read this and how much I have to drink during tonight’s #pubwrite. 😉
The truth is, I really don’t care all that much. I can call myself Sarah Sunshine of Rose Petal Valley and it doesn’t matter, what matters is my writing. Even if I have my own “BIG reveal” I’ll still probably write under Kaye Peters. I like the name. Maybe its because of my acting background that writing under this name brings something out in me. It’s not so much that I become a different person when I associate under this name, it’s more like some of my better qualities surface. I’m a more confident and optimistic person as Kaye Peters.
I am who I am, a name won’t change that. Although, my parents were thinking of naming me Wendy. Um, a redheaded Wendy…cheeseburgers, anyone? Thank God I dodged the bullet on that one!
I have no real questions to ask to spark conversation. However, I am feeling quite open so feel free to ask me anything, except my name. For that you may need to stop by #pubwrite tonight on Twitter to find out. If you don’t have any questions stick around and chat amongst yourselves. 🙂